Monday, April 13, 2015

It's Time to Stop Pretending!

Thanks, Scott McLeod for starting this challenge:
When it comes to education, what are 5 things that we have to stop pretending? Post on your blog, tag 5 others, and share using the #makeschooldifferent hashtag.
Feel free to also put the URL of your post in the comments area so others can find it!

I love it. Here are mine:

We need to stop pretending...

  • that learning comes in a box...enough of boxed and pre-packaged curriculum materials! Learning is messy!
  • that kids come in a are not standardized. Even when they have been born in the same 365-day span, kids have different needs, interests, and abilities. 
  • that it's acceptable to do outdated things because they "worked" in the past. It's not the past.
  • that letter grades are the best and most useful feedback related to learning
  • that covering material and giving a test is the same thing as real learning and growth

Please post your own post and share it here in the comments, as well as on Twitter using the hashtag #makeschooldifferent

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

How to Get A Kid's Eye Perspective on Your Teaching

As a language arts teacher, it is important to make sure my students understand perspectives. We discuss the ways different characters in literature view situations from varying points of view and the clues an author provides to help us see situations through the mind of a character.

As a teacher of young students (4th/5th grades) I need to remember that their perspectives are different, from each other and especially from my adult/teacher point of view. Of course, the best way for me to tune into their perspectives is by paying attention to the clues they give me!

My students have weekly jobs which inspire them to document their learning. The tweets, photos, and blog posts they share is one way I get to see the difference between what I (thought I) taught and what they got or thought was important/memorable.  

Look at these two photos. I am not sure if they were shared by one photographer (documentarian) or by two different students, but I think the perspective from a child's point of view is so interesting! 
Would you want to be a student in your class? If not, what will you do about it?